In or out?
It’s time to decide…’
Delaney…And So it Began is the first book in a new series from writer Owen Mullen.
Just released by Bloodhound Books, we meet a new protagonist, PI Vincent Delaney. Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, Owen Mullen’s novel takes us behind the scenes of the world of child pageantry as a murderer is on the rampage, killing innocent children.
Today is my stop on the tour with a review of the book.
Please read on for my thoughts….
PI Vincent Delaney thought he was done with the NOPD until a string of seemingly unrelated child murders brings an unexpected invitation from the FBI, and his old boss.
A serial killer is roaming the South, preying on children appearing in pageants, and the police want him to go undercover using his own family. Accepting would mean lying to people he loves and maybe even putting them in harm’s way.
In Baton Rouge, a violent criminal has escaped and is seeking revenge for the brother Delaney shot dead. But Delaney isn’t going anywhere. He has unfinished business. Meanwhile, north of the French Quarter, shopkeepers are being extorted and ask for Delaney’s help. Extortion is a matter for the police.
But what do you do when those responsible are the police? Delaney has his work cut out and he’ll be lucky if he makes it out of this alive…
Let me introduce you all to Vincent Delaney, ex-cop and now Private Investigator.
Vincent Delaney was good at his job with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). He had a reputation for getting the job done. He was liked by his colleagues and he garnered their hard earned respect. But things changed for Delaney…a series of unfortunate events resulted in him walking away from the department with a bad taste in his mouth and a promise to himself that he would not return.
Delaney has his life well sorted with a very relaxed approach to the day-to-day stuff. His best friend is his dog Lowell, he has a girlfriend Stella, he has his band that he has regular weekend gigs with. He has a standing night out at the game with his old childhood friend Cal and he meets up with his sister and her family every weekend.
Out of the blue Delaney receives a call from his old stomping ground to come in for a chat. Hesitantly, Delaney agrees but he immediately discovers that he has been duped.
There is a killer on the loose, targeting very young children at pageants. The police have no leads, as the killer leaves no trace of evidence at the scene. The NOPD are aware that Delaney’s niece takes part in these events so he would be perfect as their undercover man at these competitions.
But is Delaney in or out? It’s time to decide…
Meanwhile, an old enemy of Delaney’s is on the prowl. Delaney was responsible for the death of this man’s brother and he’s now looking for revenge. His name is Julian Boutte. He’s a hardened criminal with very psychopathic tendencies. Delaney looks to protect those closest to him from this violent and deranged individual. After experiencing what he is capable of some years previously, Delaney has his guard up.
There is also another issue after raising it’s head for Delaney. He is approached by a local community who are at the brunt of an extortion racket. They look for Delaney’s assistance as their fear is derived from knowing that members of the police community are involved. They no longer know who they can trust.
Delaney has his mind full of all the dangers that are now facing him. Supposedly retired from the force, he now finds himself caught up in race against time.
Delaney…And So it Began is a fast paced novel with so many different threads running through the story. It’s the first book in a new series from Owen Mullen featuring his main protagonist Vincent Delaney. The whole area of child pageantry is something that has always fascinated me. There is an innocence with these young kids and the parents seem to obsess about flaunting this innocence in the hope of making a new future for themselves and their child. Owen Mullen brings the scene alive in his writing. It seems predominantly the mothers who are immersed completely in this world. It is as though they are fulfilling their own dreams as opposed to their children’s.
Even though I wasn’t totally shocked when the killer was revealed, I had absolutely no idea how the other parallel stories would unfurl, leaving me with lots of unexpected surprises as the story unfolded.
Vincent Delaney and his starring side kick, Lowell, make a great team. For some reason as I was reading this book I was reminded of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer. Delaney is fast and ahead of the game, yet we also see his vulnerability exposed which makes him a very real character.
It will be interesting to see how Owen Mullen further develops Vincent Delaney’s character. The setting of New Orleans comes very much alive in the pages, which I might add would make for a great TV series….just saying!
Purchase Link ~ Delaney…And So it Began
Follow the Tour
OWEN MULLEN’S debut novel Games People Play has been long-listed for Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year 2017
‘School was a waste of time for me. Or rather, I wasted time; my own and every teacher’s who tried to get me to work. It took twenty years to appreciate what they were telling me. Life has rules. They aren’t written down but they exist nevertheless. I got that. Eventually. But by then I was thirty five.
Along the way I missed an important clue. At ten I won a national primary schools short story competition – and didn’t write anything else for forty years.
SMART BOY WANTED APPLY WITHIN
As a teenager my big obsession was music. Early on I realised if I was successful I would probably be rich and famous and pull lots of girls.
So how did that turn out?
Well, you haven’t heard of me, have you? And this morning I caught myself worrying about the electricity bill. So the short answer is: one out of three ain’t bad.
Running around the country in a Transit van with your mates is fun. It’s your very own gang. You against the world. Until you fall out and the dream lies bleeding on the dressing-room floor.
When that happened I went to London [everybody from Scotland goes to London, it’s like first footing at New Year, or ten pints of lager and a vindaloo on a Friday night; a sacred tradition] and became a session singer. I also started gigging with different bands on the circuit.
Back in Scotland – most of us come back with wild tales of great success, none of them true – I wondered what I should do with myself and didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Her name was Christine. We got married, I went to Strathclyde Uni and got a bunch of letters after my name, and toughing it out at Shotts Miner’s Welfare, or dodging flying beer cans at the Café Club in Baillieston, was in the past. The long hair was short now, I wore a suit and pretended to like people I didn’t like because we were ‘colleagues’.
After many adventures I started my own marketing and design business and did alright. Christine and I were very happy, we travelled all over the place; India, Brazil, Botswana, Nepal, Borneo, Japan. One day I suggested we move. To the Greek islands. So we did. We bought land and built a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Then the pan global financial crash happened, years of fiscal carelessness finally caught up with Greece; the exchange rate dived and the cost of living in Paradise went through the roof.
I had to do something. Then I remembered the short story competition. I had been good at writing, hadn’t I?
I wrote another short story called The King Is Dead…the first thing I’d written since primary school. When I typed the last word [Christine taught me to type] I held the pages in my hand then started to read. An hour and a half, rooted to the chair unable to believe what was in front of my eyes. For four decades I had shunned a god given gift. And as I read I started to understand why. It was awful. Not just bad. Bloody terrible.
But I kept going.
And now, eight years and seven books later, three literary agents plus two I turned down [they were reading a different book] I am a writer. My books are on Amazon. People buy them and come back for more.
One seasoned London agent has predicted I am destined to be ‘a major new force in British crime fiction.’
So is the moral: follow my example, find something you’re good at and stick with it. Hardly. I didn’t, did I? Do it your own way; it’s your life.